The Asklepia Foundation
“Journey to the Healing Heart of Your Dreams”

AS ABOVE; SO BELOW

The Mysteries of Quantum Metaphysics

by Richard and Iona Miller, c2001
O.A.K.; Asklepia Foundation

Abstract:  Our place in cosmic history depends on the delicate interplay between the very big and the very small.  Chaos and complexity theory show us that patterns tend to reiterate and persist (like fractals) at all levels of observation: “As Above; So Below.”  There are a few competing theories for describing the subquantal nature of Reality in both quantum cosmology and quantum physics.  The field patterns of the finest organization of energy and matter also affect the evolution of the cosmos.  The various models include a non-zero cosmological constant, quintessence, tracker fields, Bohm’s implicate order, and the varying-speed-of-light (VSL) theory.
Similar mechanisms also describe the mind/matter interface--the holistic organism--the holographic mindbody.  They describe how infinite pure potential becomes actualized as human consciousness--how the superposed quantum potentials collapse into a single tangible wavefunction--how mind becomes matter.  Here again, there is competition for the process which describes the source or virtual groundstate of our consciousness.  Can the constant fluctuation of quantum foam perturb the orbits of electrons in our neurons and bootstrap macro-changes in consciousness states?  Strictly statistical and mechanical views of consciousness have failed to account for the richness of inner and outer human experience.
How are waves of possibility transduced into classical or macrocosmic forms?  The models presented include Bohm's implicate and explicate order, Stapp’s cations, Walker’s synaptic tunneling, Penrose’s quantum gravity, Marshall’s Bose-Einstein condensate, and Goertzel’s Ons algebra, Hammeroff’s microtubules, Edelman's Dynamic Core hypothesis, Chalmers universal consciousness.

Introduction

A revolution occurred during the 20th century in our understanding of the nature of the physical universe.  This change is extremely important to religion, for it eliminates a basic conflict between science and religious belief.

Prior to this change, our scientific beliefs were based on an approach that was initiated in the 17th century:  "We live in a mechanical universe, and we are simply complex machines."  This scientific notion that man was purely a mechanical system contradicts what is probably the core of religious belief, namely the idea that mind-like or spirit-like factors can make a difference in human behavior.

The religious outlook assumes that a human being, acting on the basis of conscious choices, is NOT equivalent to a mechanical system, whose every action is completely determined by direct interaction  between tiny neighboring bits of matter.  20th century science, however, has shown that the earlier mechanical concept of reality is incompatible with empirical facts.

To cope with this failure of earlier ideas, physicist made a breakthrough change.  Physical theory was converted from a theory about the physical world itself into a theory of WHAT ONE COULD KNOW about the physical world.  Human experience was introduced into the theory and made fundamental.

This was to be later known as the Copenhagen interpretation.  It had drawbacks.  For example, while it brought human knowledge into physical theory, it also renounced the possibility of understanding the underlying physical reality.  It set our limits of understanding.

It was the eminent mathematician John von Neumann and Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner who reincorporated physical reality.  They did this by casting the new physics into a theory of the interaction between our conscious thoughts and our physical brains.  This was known as von Neumann-Wigner formation of quantum theory, and rationally incorporated conscious thoughts into the basic dynamics.

Physics was not yet ready to tackle the problem of interaction between our thoughts and our brain.  It was some time before this was scientifically feasible to explore.  Now however, there is a huge and rapidly growing field of experimental data on this question of the connection between minds and brains.

This shift in science is of important significance to religion.  It removes the basic contradiction between the older scientific claim that human beings are essentially mechanical robots, while religion maintains than man is not ruled by matter alone.  The new physics now dynamically entangles our conscious thoughts with the quantum representation of the physical world.

There is a hierarchy of observational levels: subquantal, quantal, photonic, atomic, EM, cehimcal, cellular, organis, organisms, consciousness, families, communities, world, solar systems, galaxies, Universe.

There is a plethora of competing theories arising from many disciplines to account for the psychophysical expressions of consciousness in function and structure:  physics, mathematics, neuroscience, neurotheology, neuropsychology, consciousness studies, cognitive sciences, complexity theorists.  The only comprehensive theory must be one that is based in nondualism, and accounts for such self-organizing mindbody manifestations as spontaneous healing or self-recovery, or even the placebo effect.

The mind-matter connection is intimately linked to any speculations we can make about alleged mind-over-matter phenomena. We are transducers of consciousness.  In fact all psi phenomena, including such nonlocality demonstrations as the “simple connections” of telepathy, ESP, or synchronicity in general are related to this problem of an underlying or connecting field through which information exchange is instantaneous and unimpeded.

The leading contender for such a field, vacuum fluctuation or quantum foam, was proposed by David Bohm.  Turbulent motion in this highly excited, subquantal field leads to the emergence from virtuality into actuality of quantum entities which just as quickly dissolve back into the subquantal sea.  This same ocean of virtual or metaphysical “stuff” has the property of containing, storing, and transmitting information about the nature of matter and even thought.

The observables of nonlocality and psi cry out for some form of interconnection between phenomenon separated in space and/or time.  The concept most generally used in physics to account for spatial and temporal interconnection is that of a field.  Fields themselves cannot be observed, and so can be considered meta- or beyond physical.  Yet the influences propagating through them are observable, eventually.  Mind, memory, and consciousness may be such phenomena.

Is there one massive holographic field that actually exists in nature in the sense of Bohm’s holomovement?  And if so, how does this relate to our consciousness and our relationship to the cosmos?  And what is the mechanism by which this universal force interfaces within our organism?  When we recognize that we really are that, that nature lies within our deepest structure and function, we come to understand that we are not separate from the whole of creation.  We recognize that “I AM THAT I AM.”  Or more properly, "I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE."  Everything including ourselves, is deeply connected in one holy movement, in qabalistic terms, from Kether to Malkuth.

The quantum vacuum, the energy-field that characterizes the ground state of the universe, possibly furnishes the indicated ‘fifth field,’ the hidden variables of chaotic yet deterministic micromotion that bootstraps all energy/matter into existence.  This plenum could transmit as-yet-unknown effects.  This quantum foam, which Wheeler called superspace, consists of a pure massless charge-flux.

We argue, along with Laszlo that, “The conclusion to be derived from the considerations presented here is that the four-dimensional manifold Einstein described as spacetime is likely to be more than a geometrical abstraction.  As the energetically superdense quantum vacuum, it may be a physically real field, limiting the velocity of light and other matter-particles and transmitting a variety of effects, including, but not limited to, gravitation and electromangetism.  We may well ask, then, whether the field would also transmit the kind of effects associated with psi.”

Waves of this purely informational (scalar) force could create a potential gradient where quantal motion triggers scalar waves in the vacuum, and these propagate by alternately compressing and rarefying its virtual-particle gas.  Scalars are neither ‘light’ nor ‘matter’, but longitudinally propagating fluctuations below the energy-threshold of particle pair-creation.This produces a self-generating cosmological feedback cycle which translates into interference patterns created by the motion of charged particles modifying the local topology of the vacuum.  The modified vacuum field modifies in turn the motion of the particles, (Laszlo, 1993, 1994).

Fourier show that any three-dimensional pattern can be analyzed into a set of regular, periodic oscillations that differ only in frequency, amplitude, and phase.  Specific waveforms can be exact representations of spatiotemporal objects--thus we have a “Holographic Universe.”

Analysis shows that the signals transmitted through the vacuum field are precisely of the psi variety, because information in that field is holographic, and because the propagation of the holographic interference patterns is quasi-instantaneous.  Therefore, this virttual field might provide a metaphysical foundation for a broad range of psi phenomena and psychophysical interaction, including self-organization and healing.

The quantum vaccum is a highly anomlous universal energy realm of pure potential.  It is both the source and destination of all matter in the universe, and thus of any form of consciousness which may emerge through its autopoeitic process.  The human brain, with its pronounced and constant state of chaos, could receive and amplify such signals, expressed both consciously and unconsciously in our biophsyical self and our ephemeral thoughts and intuitions which precipitate behavior.

The von Neumann-Wigner formulation

The von-Neumann-Wigner formulation provides the basic logical principles that govern the interaction between thoughts and the brain.  It provides prima facie evidence that human thoughts are linked to nature by nonlocal connections.  What a person chooses to do in one region seems immediately to effect what is true elsewhere in the universe.

This nonlocal aspect can be understood by conceiving the universe to be not a collection of tiny bits of matter, but rather a growing compendium of "bits of information."  This profound shift about the nature of reality has not yet sunk in culturally.  It will happen by the promotion of understanding of the radical shifts wrought by quantum theory.

Most quantum physicists are interested more in applications of quantum theory than in its deep implications.  Most now agree that a conception of physical reality is informational in character, not material.  Our conscious thoughts ought eventually to be understood within science and that when properly understood, our thoughts will be seen to DO something; they will be efficacious.

From what most quantum physicists now understand, certain ontological claims can now be made.

1. The "physical world," as understood in quantum theory, is a store of information, and this information is NOT imbedded in hordes of tiny particles (as they were in classical theory).  The information is stored in a mathematically described structure that specifies propensities for certain events to occur.  These events (paradigms) include the acquision of information by human agents.

2. Conscious events should eventually be understood in science, and these events should be efficacious. They should have a real effect on our actions.

The von Neumann-Wigner formulation of quantum theory achieves these ends.  It has never been seriously broached in science, not because it was considered unimportant, but because it was deemed too difficult.  Pertinent data seemed insufficient and restrictive.  This has changed because science has changed.

Thoughts are not "nothing."  They are simultaneously embodied in quantal processes, neural circuits, electrical (EM) charge, chemical transmissions, and genetic expression.  How can a thought, for example, stimulate or depress the immune system.  Research shows such thoughts don't need to arise in the brain, but may originate in the whole psychophysical self, such as cytokines and neurotransmitter release in far-flung parts of the body.  Such processes have a "beginning, middle, and end" which at some point we may be able to quantify, perhaps through research on artificial intelligence.

Henry Stapp's Cation Theory of Mind/Matter and QM

[He worked in Munich with Werner Heisenberg, and later in Austin with John Wheeler on the problem of interpretation of quantum theory.  He is the author of "The Copenhagen Interpretation."]